Graphics giant Nvidia will no longer be spending $40 billion to acquire Arm, according to three anonymous sources “with direct knowledge of the transaction” who spoke to the Financial Times. Instead, Nvidia will likely be spending up to $1.25 billion to Arm owner SoftBank for failing to go through with the transaction, while Arm CEO Simon Segars will reportedly lose his job in favor of Rene Hass (who coincidentally used to run Nvidia’s own Arm business many years ago).
The deal, announced in September 2020, would have been one of the industry’s biggest ever, giving GPU manufacturer Nvidia control of the company whose architecture and intellectual property is key to every practically every smartphone and tablet chip ever made, as well as a growing number of server chips, and Apple’s entire future product roadmap for its impressive Arm-powered laptop and desktop PCs. (Apple’s Arm laptop chips wowed the industry in late 2020, putting other manufacturers on notice.)
Nvidia declined to comment to The Verge, not even to confirm or deny that the deal had fallen through. Softbank and Arm didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. None of the companies have publicly confirmed that the deal is off; it’s possible they are waiting until financial markets open in the UK or Japan, where Arm and Softbank are headquartered respectively. Softbank is scheduled to report earnings later today on Japan time.
It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the deal had fallen through, since it’s been a rough road for Nvidia pretty much since the start, with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang frequently having to defend it in public and eventually admitting it might take much longer than planned. Scarcely two weeks ago, Bloomberg reported that the deal was falling through, after challenges from UK, EU, and US regulators worried about what Nvidia might do if it owned Arm. The FTC also sued to stop the acquisition.